In the construction industry, both current and former employees have the right to contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and turn in a complaint if they feel their current or past employer is in violation of an OSHA standard. As Tampa construction attorneys, we know that while those employees can opt to stay anonymous with their complaint, the submitted complaint must include specifics of the alleged violation as well as be signed by the person turning it in. If OSHA determines that the employer is indeed in violation based on the complaint, they will send a compliance officer to the job site to perform an employee complaint inspection. It’s important to remember that these inspections are not just limited to what the complaint contained. The compliance officer can ask to inspect other areas of the job site as well.
Does OSHA Always Perform a Site Inspection?
If OSHA doesn’t deem the employer to be in violation of any standards, OSHA might not decide to perform a job site inspection. If this is the case, OSHA will notify the employer of the alleged hazards or violations by telephone, fax, email, or letter, and OSHA will request that the employer provide a response to address the allegation. There are some agencies and organizations that are eligible to submit a referral to OSHA that will provide notification of a hazard or violation. This can include OSHA CSHOs and whistleblowers.
Whether or not an employee complaint warrants an inspection will depend on any of the following conditions being met:
- Information is received in a signed, written complaint that alleges a documentation deficiency
- An injury or illness has occurred due to a hazard that still exists
- The complaint states that information relating to a reported incident or injury is false
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation..